I really wanted to play with wire but was intimidated by the high cost of sterling or gold filled wire.
Sometimes, to me, costly materials can kill creative freedom.
At a jewelry show I stumbled on a company called Para Wire. They had a huge display of shiny, colorful wires in a variety of gauges. Their wire is coated, tarnish-free, plated and is so much fun to use.
Because of the lower cost their is no pressure when using a lot of wire or making mistakes...I felt free to experiment. It also helped with the final cost of my jewelry creations when I was able to incorporate it in my designs.
It is available in the traditional finishes as well as an array of beautiful, bright colors. The wire can be worked like regular wire...hammered, bent, formed, etc...which was great for making hand made hooks and clasps.
I don't have their contact information right now but I am sure if you google the name you will find a supplier.
Have fun experimenting!